Setting up a hotspot (or tethering) can be used as an alternative when you do not have access to your home internet or when your Wi-Fi is not working. Using your smartphone’s data-sharing feature, you can turn your device into a wireless modem which can be used for connecting other devices such as laptops, tablets or computers to the internet.
Risk of excess data costs
Tethering can really chew through your mobile data, and for this reason we do not encourage tethering and recommend exploring alternatives such as mobile broadband. Data used when tethering counts towards your monthly quota, therefore it is important to check you have enough data on your mobile plan to cover your needs, or you may be at risk of incurring expensive excess data charges.
How to set up a hotspot on iPhone
On an Apple iOS device start with your Settings, scroll down to Personal Hotspot and make sure it is toggled on. If you are already signed into your iCloud account on another device, you can connect right away without a password. If a password is required, set one up to prevent unauthorised external access. From here, there are a few ways to connect.
Connect using Wi-Fi
- Choose your phone from the Wi-Fi settings on your computer or other device.
- Enter the password when prompted
Connect using Bluetooth
- Pair your iPhone with your computer
- On iPhone, tap pair or enter the code displayed on your computer
- Connect iPhone to computer
Connect using USB
- Plug iPhone into your computer
- Choose iPhone from the list of network services in your settings
How to set up a hotspot on Android
The steps for setting up a hotspot for an Android-operating device will generally vary based on your phone, however you should start by navigating to your Settings app.
Connect using Wi-Fi
- Navigate to Wireless & networks or Connections.
- Select the hotspot/tethering option
- Turn on Wi-Fi hotspot
- Connect your device to the hotspot network created
You can also connect quickly by swiping down from the top bar and swiping across to Mobile Hotspot.
General things to note
- As above, be aware of how much data is being used. It can be easy to use a lot of data when tethering and data notifications can be delayed for up to 48 hours. This means you risk exceeding your data allowance and incurring excess data charges.
- If you have privacy concerns about using your hotspot in a public area, we recommend changing the password before broadcasting your signal.
- Make sure your device is close enough to connect the hotspot device, otherwise you might experience a service drop out.
- Using your phone as a hotspot can also significantly reduce its battery charge. Keep an eye on this or leave on charge while in use.